The Palestinians and the Vatican are said to be seeking approval for their respective flags to be raised in the upcoming United Nations General Assembly on September 25. While the Palestinian state has drafted its resolution with references to Vatican, the latter is said to have requested to remove its association in the draft resolution.
The flag-raising ceremony is controversial since the United States and other countries are actively objecting to recognize Palestine as a state. However, the draft resolution from the Palestinians comes in days before the Pope’s visit to U.S. There are speculations that the said resolution is strategically timed ahead of Pope Francis’ first U.S. trip. That way, the White House could not object and risk stirring friction against the Vatican.
Upsetting the Israel’s government
The Associated Press called the draft resolution as a “move likely to upset Israel’s government.” Based on the copy of the resolution obtained by AP, the Palestinians are seeking for the non-member observer states to raise their flags in the U.N. General Assembly.
In a copy seen by Reuters, the Palestinians are specifically asking that flags “shall be raised at the United Nations Headquarters and Offices following the flags of the member states of the United Nations.” According to Reuters, the draft resolution specifically refers to the Vatican and the State of Palestine.
According to AP, the supporters of the draft resolution hoped that it will be approved just in time before the Pope’s arrival on September 25. Their optimism is rooted in the hopes that U.S. and other Israel allies will not object in order not to offend the Vatican ahead of Pope Francis’ first visit to the U.S.
AP noted that U.S. and Israel both object recognizing Palestine as a state. However, as Morning News USA reported in May, the Vatican had already officially recognized the state of Palestine with a Vatican spokesman saying that the state exists.
Also read: State Of Palestine Exists – Vatican
Vatican wanted name to be removed from the resolution draft
Aside from a copy of the draft resolution from the Palestinians, Reuters has also seen a copy of note from Vatican requesting for U.N. to remove all its references from the draft resolution. “The Holy See does not intend to co-sponsor a draft resolution that the State of Palestine may eventually present on the matter,” the note states as quoted by Reuters.
“The Holy See asks the Permanent Observer Mission of the State of Palestine to the United Nations kindly to remove in its draft resolution any reference to the ‘Holy See’ and any generic reference ‘on behalf of the Observer States’,” the noted added.
U.N. 70th Anniversary
The visit of Pope Francis in UN headquarters on September 25 is an important part of the historic year, the U.N. said in its announcement. During his visit, the assembly will take major decisions about sustainable development, climate change and the future peace and well-being of humankind, the announcement said.
“The Secretary-General is confident that His Holiness Pope Francis’s visit will inspire the international community to redouble its efforts to achieve human dignity for all through ensuring greater social justice, tolerance and understanding among all of the world’s peoples,” U.N. said in its announcement.